The SweetSpot Coffee Shoppe (Whitewater, WI)

April 2nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Photo Courtesy of http://www.sweetspotcoffeeshoppe.net

Abbie Murphy is a contributing writer for Chicago Noms, covering the scene back in the Wisconsin area. She is a student at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater.

Located in downtown Whitewater, WI, across from Cravath Lake is the SweetSpot Coffee Shoppe. It’s the perfect place to study and grab a cup of coffee, or choose from one of their wraps, paninis, soups, or salads. They offer a wide variety of espresso based specialty drinks as well as baked goods.

This week my sister and I decided to head down to the SweetSpot to grab a bite to eat for lunch and get some schoolwork done.

I ordered the Tuscan Chicken Panini and she order the Tuscan Chicken Wrap both came with gourmet kettle chips.  The Tuscan Chicken Panini featured grilled chicken, ranch dressing, and provolone on garlic and sea salt bread. It was phenomenal.

Photo Courtesy of SweetSpot Coffee Shoppe Facebook Fan Page

My total came to $6.80, which included a bottle of water.

One of my favorite parts of the SweetSpot is their emphasis on local products.  They brew Ancora Coffee, which is out of Madison and serve Rishi Teas and Sprechers soda both from Milwaukee. They also serve muffins from WildFlour Bakery also out of Milwaukee.

All of their bread is from Lake Mills, made by Wisconsin’s Waterhouse Food, which makes bread out of organic, locally-sourced ingredients. They also serve New Glarius Beer.

Photo Courtesy of SweetSpot Coffee Shoppe Facebook Fan Page

They also feature open mic nights monthly, featuring local musicians. Artwork for sale by local artists hangs on the walls.

Even cooler is the history of the building. The SweetSpot is located in the Historic Whitewater Hotel. It was renovated in 2005, with parts of the building dating back to 1852.

The SweetSpot is a quaint coffee shoppe where you feel right at home. Quick to offer a suggestion if you need help and always friendly, the customer service has been excellent every visit I have made.

Wiscrumptiously Yours,
Abbie

One of those places you'd take a friend to when he was in town, just to show how cool your town was.

Price Rating: The Photo Major- The true “starving artists”- is the cheapest category. Photo majors spend what little money they don’t use on chemicals and film to buy ramen. Imagine a cute kid trying to struggle to survive, all in the name of art!

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Mac’s Pizza Shack: 2307 Milton Ave. Janesville, Wis.

March 11th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Abbie Murphy is a contributing writer for Chicago Noms, covering the scene back in the Wisconsin area. She is a student at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater.

The evening was rapidly approaching and our stomachs were beginning to growl.

photo curtsy of Mac's Pizza Shack Facebook Fan Page

A plethora of options await you at Mac's Pizza Shack's buffet.-Photo courtesy of Mac's Pizza Shack Facebook Fan Page

My friend and I were driving around Janesville, Wis., on a typical Friday night trying to decide what we wanted to eat. We were cruising down Milton Avenue, the main drag in Janesville, when the bright lights of the Mac’s Pizza Shack sign caught our eyes and our stomachs.

It’s been years since I have gone to Mac’s and dined in. It was a favorite of mine, and most kids growing up in Janesville, as it was the place to go after big events or after winning (or losing for that matter) a big game. Whether it’s the bells, rings, buzzes, and “don’t forget your tickets,” voiceovers heard reverberating off the walls of the crowed game room or the small lofted area where little kids can watch their pizza being made, the atmosphere of Mac’s reminds me of my childhood.

Delectable sausage 'za and cheesy bread.

Delectable sausage 'za and cheesy bread.

“Sha la la la la la la la la la la tee dahhh la tee dah! You my brown eye girl!” played throughout the restaurant upon our arrival and in reply my friend and I joined in harmonizing “Do you remember when? We use to sing…” I’ll spare you the rest, as I’m sure the song will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day regardless of whether I type the remaining lyrics. What I’m trying to get at is there were some darn catchy tunes that played throughout our visit at Mac’s, very old-school songs like Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” and the Orlon’s “Don’t Hang Up,” just to name a few.

When we arrived at the register we were both greeted and welcomed by the owner himself who was making rounds checking in on his customers. Later when we were seated an employee came around and got us refills even though it’s a self-serve type restaurant.

Photo courtesy of Mac's Pizza Shack Facebook Fan Page

Mac's Game Room-Photo courtesy of Mac's Pizza Shack Facebook Fan Page

We both ordered the buffet and a fountain soda for just over $9.00 each. The buffet had numerous options ranging from salad to cheese pizza, sausage pizza, pepperoni pizza, cheese bread and cinnamon bread to fried chicken, mashed potatoes and soup.

I indulged in a slice of sausage pizza and some cheese bread. It was quite delicious and hot out of the oven for being on the buffet. My friend chose to eat a cup of soup, a slice of pepperoni pizza, and cinnamon bread. She was very pleased with the pizza and cinnamon sticks, but the soup was very thick like it had been heating for quite some time.

The customer service was very refreshing and that in itself warrants a return visit. The food was delicious and needless to say we got a bang for our buck when you consider our numerous returns to the buffet line.

Worth a return visit!

Price Rating: The Journalist- Kids who are doing alright- this is the middle of the road. They are good with money, but aren’t going to get rich in an industry of dying newspapers.

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Ian’s Pizza (Madison, WI)

February 24th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

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Image by wrestlingentropy via Flickr

Madison, Wisconsin is a miniature version of Chicago. It has the biggest party school in the University of Wisconsin system (UW-Madison), and it is a generally liberal community.

Needless to say, it has plenty of fine dining establishments. Many of which are open late to cater to drunken college students looking for something tasty in the witching hour.

Ian’s pizza does just that, but it is (almost) equally delicious while completely sober.

With extra-large slices, interesting options (pesto, tomato and mozzarella pizza and mac ‘n cheese pizza), and killer service, they are a necessary stop for anyone heading to Madison.

For those of you not heading to America’s Dairlyand any time soon, you’re still in luck.

Ian’s has a franchise in Chi-town at Wrigleyville: 3463 North Clark Street. It doesn’t beat the ambience of Madison’s Capital Square, but it’s still a delicious treat that cannot be passed up.

Worth a return visit!

Price rating: The Photo Student- kids who are really starving in the name of art. This is the cheapest category. These kids spend all of their money on film and chemicals, and have little left to spend on food.

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